American Association of Bovine Practitioners' guidance on drug stewardship recommends that veterinarians be knowledgeable leaders in antimicrobial use on farms.
Veterinarians who work with cattle also should review farm records and drug inventories, support efforts to compare drug use across farms, and review plans for potential changes. In October, AABP leaders announced that the guidelines were available to help bovine veterinarians design, implement, and monitor antimicrobial stewardship programs with clients.
"Antimicrobial stewardship is the commitment to reducing the need for antimicrobial drugs by preventing infectious disease in cattle, and when antimicrobial drugs are needed, a commitment that antimicrobials are used appropriately to optimize health and minimize selection for antimicrobial resistance," the guidelines state.
The AABP recommends that veterinarians consider their education, potential lessons from therapeutic events, the influence of personal gain, the organ systems and infectious agents involved, the long-term effects of antimicrobial use, and the potential for illegal residues, among other factors.
The AABP board of directors assembled a task force in 2015 to create the guidelines, which adapted elements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's stewardship recommendations for human medicine, an AABP announcement states. Dr. Virginia Fajt, who led the now-disbanded task force, said in the announcement that good stewards of antimicrobials engage everyone working in animal production in disease prevention and management strategies and applying evidence to drug choices.